WordPress is basically ready to go, but if we take some time to set some default settings, our website will be ready for prime time. Hobby sites don’t need to go through all this trouble, but small businesses will want to set these options for the best Search Engine Optimization and more.
Here’s a video to walk you through the process and detailed notes below.
Let’s go to the Settings Menu and begin to configure our website.
Recommended General Settings:
- Your business will want to set the Site Title and Tagline for SEO purposes.
- Leave the WordPress Address and Site Address unless you know why you’re changing it.
- Enable membership settings if you have a plan (Make sure you leave the Default User Role at Subscriber)
- The other settings are optional, but good to setup.
- You may not have your Post Categories setup yet, so make a mental note to return here to set that and then delete the”Uncategorized” category.
- Post by email is very limited at the present time. Only text will post (no pictures). In general, you probably won’t use it.
- Enable XML-RPC publishing. This will enable the iPhone/iPad/Android apps and other third-party apps the ability to publish to your site.
Reading Settings Are Fine with Defaults
Recommended Discussion Settings:
The most important setting is “Before a Comment Appears”
Because of the amount of SPAM commenters on the net, your business will want to moderate these comments. If you want complete control over your comments, you will choose, “An administrator must always approve the comment”. However as your business builds a following, your life will become much easier if you choose “Comment author must have a previously approved comment.” This way you can screen your commenters, but once you’ve approved someone you allow them to continue to post comments on your site. You can always check and moderate their comments.
Avatars are also nice to give your site some extra visual interest.
Optional Media Settings:
Your theme (and possibly plugins) may have a few images sizes which would display best on your site. Sometimes these image sizes are coded into the theme functions, but if not, it may be helpful to set those sizes in one of these default image sizes. An example of this would be a rotating image slider on the homepage.
The other settings are optional.
By default, WordPress doesn’t allow Google or other search engines to “crawl” or index it’s pages. This is a terrible thing when you want your content to be found. But as you’re developing the site, it’s actually a good thing. Leave this setting for now and develop some content for your site. When you’re ready to launch your site, return here and change the setting.
New in WordPress 3.4 is the “Post Name” option for your permalinks. This is my recommended setting, especially if you won’t be posting more than a couple of articles a week. If your business wants to post one or more articles a day, you may consider choosing the “Month and Name” setting.
The “Post Name” setting is great for Search Engine Optimization as well as being recognizable by humans.
Most importantly is to choose one option and stick with it. Changing this setting after you’ve had your site running for a while will confuse Search Engines because your content won’t be where it expects it.